52and40/23 The Selfsame Well


A friend died recently.  She was my writing teacher first (and my first writing teacher).

I can trace roads from everything I’ve had published in the last two years to Helen, her guidance at every way-marker.  Even with this map I’m disorientated; floundering in comprehending such a special woman being gone.


In grief, all roads lead inevitably to my Mum.  Every funeral a little her funeral, too.  Profound losses only comforted by the extreme gratitude for having shared some of the world with extraordinary people’s smiles and stories.

Joy and sorrow, innit?


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52and40/20 Pigs Might Fly


We took ourselves to Raasay in February.

A proper road trip – a long time in the car, sweets, music, stops for the dog to wee, chats about memories.  Maniacs in white vans, eye-spy and the name game.

Does it all sound perfect?

It wasn’t.  We fought, too.  There were hideous tensions as well as laughs and Kodak moments.  Families trying to keep growing together at the same time as letting kids grow up are like that, I reckon.  The wood of the construction makes different noises in different weather.

Roots and wings.


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52and39/40 The Road Less Travelled





I drove to Hawick, last Friday.

I suddenly had an afternoon on my hands and the weather was unseasonably brilliant.  So I pointed the car at a road I haven’t driven before.

I took the A68 for most of the way, wanting to stop and take photos every ten seconds, such is the beauty.

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Scotland in the sunshine is a perfection of sky, landscape and scale.

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It was so ridiculously luxuriant to have an adventure completely to myself.  Time stopped whizzing by and the sun warmed my thoughts and bones.  Blissful.

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